Union bosses on Tuesday called on Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne to clarify his position concerning the automaker's future in Italy after he said its investment plans had changed due to the economic crisis.
Raffaele Bonanni, general secretary of CISL, aske Marchionne to convene leaders immediately and "clarify just one point: if he intends to maintain and use the Fabbrica Italy plan when the market picks up, or if he doesn't want to use it any more, independently of the market situation".
In an interview with Rome-based daily La Repubblica published on Tuesday the Fiat boss said the plan to invest some 20 billion euros in facilities in Italy by 2014 "was based on 100 things and half of them no longer exist because of the crisis".
However he denied that Fiat would be leaving Italy or closing any of its Italian plants. Fiom metalworkers union leader Giorgio Airaudo on Tuesday said "these are not reassurances, they are just a way of buying time" and called on the government to take action to end Fiat's monopoly of the national auto market.
He was echoed by Susanna Camusso, leader of Italy's biggest union, CGIL, who said in an interview to the daily L'Unita' that "if, as everything suggests, Fiat is oriented towards reducing production, the government needs to ask itself how to attract another producer. "Italy has always taken for granted the fact that cars are produced by Fiat and Fiat alone; instead the idea needs to be affirmed that the production of means of transport in the country cannot be the result of the choices made by a single company".